What’s in store for the housing market this spring?

By Kelly Leighton | April 20, 2016 | 2 min. read

Eighty-eight percent of real estate professionals recently surveyed predict more first-time homebuyers in 2016 than 2015.

And 57 percent of those professionals believe spring 2016 will be busier in the industry than spring 2015, as more than half expect buyers to act more quickly so they can guarantee low rates. How can Realtors® prepare?

Most importantly, features in a home can make or break it. The highest percentage, more than three-quarters of those surveyed, cited an updated kitchen and bath as the most important feature. The second most-popular feature right now is an open floor plan, which 59 percent cited as vital.

Meanwhile, 43 percent said low maintenance features are important to homebuyers. More than one-third said homebuyers are looking for a walkable community, while one-fifth said the homes should be energy efficient to attract homebuyers. Finally, 19 percent said the strength of cell phone service or Wi-Fi is what consumers are looking for.

What don’t consumers want? Two-thirds said outdated floor plans are a deal breaker, while 63 percent said laminate countertops are a no-go. Does your client have popcorn ceilings? Fifty-nine percent said it’s time to upgrade to make the sale.

As for the expected uptick in homebuyers, 46 percent think it’s due to an improved housing market, and the same percentage cited more first-time homebuyers as responsible. Rising rents are leading more consumers to buy, said 36 percent, while 35 percent said more qualified buyers are in the market for a home. Finally, 31 percent said home price gains are leading to a better season in homebuying.

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